Lorraine, I wanted to write this letter just to say, how important it was to have ever come into contact with you, meet you, and hear your story. Let me explain, my wife, Holly, attended a victim’s gathering where you spoke downtown in Cincinnati. Here also was my victim’s mother. At this speech she told me of your story, the horrific things you and your daughters experienced, and the impact it had on her about forgiveness. She sent me a copy of it through the mail, and when I received it, it brought me to tears in my cell. Why? Because forgiveness was something I knew little about, much less knowing how to forgive myself. You see at the time, I was doing public speaking to first offenders at CRC and other inmates, and I was trying to tell them the importance of accountability, and about God, and the path to stay on when getting to prison. I told them of my struggles and the troubles I had gone through when I first came to prison, the type of person I used to be, and I encouraged them not to travel the path that I had traveled. However, I became burdened after my first few speeches, because I realized I had not been completely honest in my talks. I realized I was encouraging these inmates to be accountable for their crimes, when I myself had not been fully accountable for my own actions. I felt shame, I felt guilt, and I saw that I was basically manipulating my situation to make myself appear better than I really was by telling half truths.. When I read your story, I not only broke down in tears, but I saw you as a reflection of what I hoped to have someday from my victims mother. Your story gave me hope, and it enabled me to see that forgiveness was possible. See, I saw myself and the crime I committed as the lowest thing a person could do to their friend. I hated myself . But I saw that if a mother like you, who had experienced what you did, not only survived , but found it in her heart to FORGIVE a murderer and the heinous act that was committed against her and her daughters… if she could forgive a man after committing an act like that? Then I owe it to myself and everyone else to not only forgive , but I owe it to you, and victims like you to stop feeling sorry for myself, get up, and start living this life as the person God intended me to be. So I found the courage from this point to write my victim’s mother a full confession letter to what I had done. And although it didn’t make me look much better in anyone else’s eyes, it allowed me to confess my sins and be accountable for the life I took. What felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders all those years, was like a feather when I gave it to God, and asked His forgiveness. I wanted my victims mother to know her son did nothing wrong to me that night and that he was a good person. He didn’t deserve what I did out of my own prideful insecurities. From this moment on, I began speaking the truth to all the first time offenders I spoke to. I began dealing in truth period. I began to walk close to God by following Godly principles, and He took me from the dark place I was back then, He took me from the dark individual I used to be, who was still at a level three security, to a level one security and a mentor here at Marion Correctional. You’re a bright light Lorraine, in a very dark place for inmates like me. And if I’m honest, you helped me move forward in my life and your story helped me uncover layers and layers of self hatred, low self worth, and low self esteem. You helped me conquer my internal battle of self image, guilt, and shame…and what I found at my core after I lifted each blanket off of me through forgiveness, was my original bright light I always was, its all anyone has ever been. I thank you again for showing and expressing God’s love and forgiveness to me. Thank you, always, Dale.
Offenders Endorsement

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